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In today’s uncertain economy with such a high unemployment rate, the stakes for a single job interview are higher than ever before. Yes, it is very important to come into a job interview demonstrating your knowledge and your professional presence. But it also helps to know what you might need to talk about. According to a recent article by John Lees:

New hires have to impress their bosses, peers, and employees in less time than it takes some of us to arrange a meeting. So if you’re interviewing for a job, plan to be asked the question: “What do you hope to achieve in your first three months?”

How to have a successful interview is an important but often neglected career development skill. Most prospective employees know to demonstrate their professional presence. However, Lees sees that most interviewees seem to think that they will just be asked to recount past experiences and successes as the bulk of their interview, when in fact, they should be viewing the interview as an “audition” of sorts that is more future-oriented.

Interviewees need to try to make everyone in the room see how well they and their career development fit into the company’s future by showing what they will be like to work with and what they bring to the table. Emphasize your knowledge and experience as well as your innovative (and inexpensive) ideas for the future.

In order to do this successfully, it is helpful to bring up new ideas in a way that is not simply idealistic or bombastic. Find a way to communicate your ideas in a way that is realistic and doesn’t steamroll others or step on too many toes. There is a reason why things are done the way they are in that company, and it is probably not helpful to try to reinvent their entire strategy in the course of one short interview.

It is helpful, however, if you have a communication style that makes it relatively easy for you to relate to others. If you have multiple people interviewing you, then you can find different ways to connect to each interviewer while simultaneously discussing your career development and your ideas for the future. Show that you can interact easily and productively with your possible future colleagues.


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